Diversity: the future of talent

The moral imperative and commercial benefit of D&I

Our Head of Insight & Innovations, Robi Sol Elsawey, reflects on the positive impact work placements have on diversity and inclusion.

As a BAME woman who grew up in one of the more socio-economically deprived areas in London, I’m acutely aware of the correlation between those in a ‘minority’ and lack of opportunity. The difficult truth has hit home at points in my career, more so since joining Movement to Work – there is still a diversity problem across the board, with unconscious bias creating pockets of exclusion for young people both when accessing, and once in, the workplace.

According to the latest Labour Force Survey, 16-24 year olds with disabilities were around three times more likely not to be in employment, education or training, and the recent Race Disparity Audit found that adults from a Black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Mixed background were two and a half times more likely to be unemployed, compared with those from a White British background. There’s a moral imperative for us to do more to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Critically, the arguments for increasing opportunities for unemployed young people transcend a social good; it makes sense for business, too.There are multiple studies that suggest that greater diversity and inclusion has a positive impact across the business – from faster problem solving (HBR, 2017), to higher return on equity and better financial performance (McKinsey, 2012). It also drives engagement and feelings of inclusion amongst employees (Deloitte, 2013).

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